Taliban Bans Protests That Do Not Have Their Approval
Protestors have defied Taliban pressure to stay at home.
Protestors have taken the streets in parts of Afghanistan, despite warnings by the Taliban to remain at home.
The rallies have been broken up with violence, and ‘severe consequences’ are threatened for demonstrators.
Photos have emerged which show injuries on demonstrators, including two journalists, who attended the protest on Wednesday. The journalists have been heavily beaten after their arrest by the Taliban.
Photographer Nematullah Naqdi told the AFP news agency that “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head [...] I thought they were going to kill me.” Naqdi attended a protest by women in front of an Afghan police station.
The Taliban has tightened its crackdown of protests against its rule. Demonstrators are banned from gathering and using slogans without the approval of Taliban officials. Protestors will face ‘severe consequences, according to Sirajuddin Haqqani, a member of the new interior ministry and wanted by the United States on terrorism charges.
Women have been at the forefront of the protests, fighting for their rights. On Wednesday, there have been lethal confrontations between demonstrators and Taliban soldiers in multiple cities.
In the Afghan capital Kabul, Taliban soldiers dispersed a small rally on Tuesday. Afghan media reported that two people at the demonstration site were shot dead. Civilians fear that Afghanistan’s interim cabinet under the Taliban’s rule is shifting to make up entirely of Taliban loyalists, breaking the promises of inclusivity and moderation.
The crackdown on human rights was also seen when a senior Taliban figure said that Afghan women would be banned from playing sport on Wednesday. This decision will also include the country’s women’s cricket team.
The deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said: “I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket [...] Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.”
Journalist Bilal Sawary tweeted that several sources in the telecom sector have confirmed that the Taliban had ordered mobile and internet coverage to be turned off temporarily in several districts.